Starting on March 10, 2020, I have worked to a video-conferencing only model for RMHS LLC. There are several reasons for this.
The COVID-19 virus is, of course, one factor. I feel safer knowing that my therapy participants can’t get the virus from each other through surface exposure, and overall my participants feel safer as well.
Telehealth also makes accessing therapy easier for people in rural areas (I can see people from all over Missouri), for people with mobility issues, and for people with anxiety issues that make it difficult for them to get out of the house.
Because I have a therapy practice that is LGBTQ friendly and focuses on people with relatively complex traumas, it is important to me that this population is able to access appropriate mental health therapy even if they are physically distant or have other barriers to doing therapy in an office setting.
The app I am using, doxy.me, is super accessible. It is usable on any Chrome or Firefox browser on any phone, tablet, or computer with a data or internet connection. It includes the ability to text either in addition to or as a substitute for audio/video, which can help with hearing issues. It is fully HIPAA compliant.
I am checking with all my accepted insurance to ensure I follow their rules when billing telehealth, and as I’ve cleared each one, I will let you know. So far, all plans that bill to Optum for mental health are cleared, and I know that each Blue Cross plan has its own policy, so call ahead to be sure telehealth is covered.